[credit provider=”Courtesy of Al-Jazeera”]
Syrian protesters came out in full force for a “Day of Defiance” today, despite a widespread military deployment aimed at cracking down on anti-government demonstrations.Protesters clashed with security forces in more a dozen cities across Syria, BBC News reports, including Damascus, the country’s conservative capital.
According to Al Jazeera, at least 13 people were killed by security forces in Homs, Syria’s third largest city.
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that the southern city of Dera’a remains under military siege, despite the army’s promise yesterday to pull forces out of the city. Activists have labelled the 10-day occupation of Dera’a a “massacre,” and said Friday that a humanitarian crisis has emerged due to bread, water and gas shortages.
The UN said today that Syria will has agreed to let teams to check the humanitarian situation. Aid workers from the Red Cross and Red Crescent delivered the first emergency supplies to Dera’a Thursday.
The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has waged an increasingly brutal campaign of violence and intimidation to quash the unrest. More than 500 protesters have been killed since demonstrations began March 15.
The European Union agreed today to impose sanctions on 14 Syrian officials involved in the crackdown. Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has reportedly been left off the list.